Marko: Mercedes’ system is illegal

Mercedes’ new dual-axis steering (DAS) is a form of active suspension, and therefore illegal, says Red Bull’s Helmut Marko.

The hot topic on day two in Barcelona, DAS has the rest of the paddock trying to figure out both how it works, and whether it is legal. For Marko, the latter question has already been answered.

“If you actively change the camber or toe of the wheels while driving, the contact surface of the tyres changes”, Marko told Auto Bild. “And thus — even if in a very, very small area — the ground clearance. But this is prohibited because the system then corresponds to the mode of operation of a prohibited active wheel suspension.”

Under article 10.2.2 of the 2020 Formula 1 regulations, “any powered device which is capable of altering the configuration or affecting the performance of any part of any suspension system is forbidden”. while article 10.2.3 further states that “no adjustment may be made to any suspension system while the car is in motion.”

Already pressed on questions of legality, Mercedes’ technical director James Allison has responded that it “isn’t news to the FIA. We’ve been talking to them about it for some time”, and he expects it to be on their car come Melbourne. Whether that remains the case, we will soon find out.